This is the video of the bombing of the Iraqi parliament, which is a scary indicator of the security situation in Iraq. This comes in the same week that the Red Cross has reported that Iraqi's face a "'disastrous' situation that is getting worse"; the bombing of the historic Sarafiya bridge; and Bush's latest announcement that the troop tours will be extended from 12 months to 15 months.
A Times articles today has the troops reacting to the news.
The soldiers wondered if their relationships back home could weather an extension and predicted that divorce rates in the military would spike. They muttered about three additional months of forced celibacy and fretted half jokingly about impatient wives and girlfriends. “Now a lot of cheating be going on,” said Sgt. Jonathan Wilson, 29. “I’m serious.”
Specialist Lawson had planned to take a vacation with his former wife, with whom he has two daughters, after he got back to the division’s home base in Schweinfurt, Germany. They were going to give the relationship another try.
“This has totally wrecked everything I had planned,” he said as he slumped on an empty explosives crate.
“Now I’m never going to get together with my ex-wife,” he said. “I’m scared that the longer it takes, more things could happen.”
That troop deployments were going to be extended makes Bush's previous accusations that the Democrats legislative fight to add a timeline for a partial withdrawal of forces in the supplemental seems even more hollow.
Here is what Bush was saying just a week ago, from the Washington Times.
The bottom line is this: Congress' failure to fund our troops on the front lines will mean that some of our military families could wait longer for their loved ones to return from the front lines. And others could see their loved ones headed back to the war sooner than they need to. That is unacceptable to me, and I believe it is unacceptable to the American people," he said.
This should give the Democrats more wiggle room to call Bush out for being so sinister and out-of-touch on this issue. And, according to TPM, the House Democrats (unlike Barack Obama) appear to be up for a fight. They have the text of a memo written by Rahm Emanuel urging the Democrats not to cede anything to Bush. Here is a portion:
We find ourselves in a strong position because the American people support our policy objectives and our plan for Iraq, especially as they measure up against the failures of the administration’s policies. As we continue through the process of sending an Iraq spending bill to the President for his approval, we need to go beyond the debate about the funding for the war, and remind the American people of the policies we are recommending -- benchmarks for the Iraqis, support for our troops through training and equipment, and a plan for a responsible and strategic redeployment of our troops. It is also important that we remind the country of the policy position of Congressional Republicans on Iraq – their rubberstamping of the President’s Iraq policies, and their refusal to conduct responsible oversight.
Speaking of Obama, Jerome Armstrong has the following analysis of his position on Iraq, how it may effect him in the primary and how, according to a recent report by Raw Story, John Edwards is trying to capitalize from it.
Obama's statements on the war are going to start to hurt his popularity among Democrats. As the article on Raw Story shows, Obama is clearly getting heat now from the Edwards camp for statements about funding of the Iraq war that Obama has been making, and the Republicans are using them against Democrats. Obama is in a bit of a branding dilemma over the Iraq war. His original effort seemed to be pointed toward Clinton-- vote the same as her for continual funding of the war, but continue pointing out that he was right at the beginning. And that probably works against Clinton, but it doesn't really work when he's getting top-tier pressure from a position more in line with the base of the Democratic Party.
Obama's been getting it from the netroots, and is now getting from the Edwards camp.
Looking at this from a political analysis, it's beginning to be the frame that Obama's got the movements position on not voting to begin the war, but the establishment's position (or rhetoric) on continuing the war. He's just not staked out the right ground on the war that would be in sync with a movement from within the Democratic Party.
When Obama says that "the vast majority of Democrats" are not interested in cutting funding of the war, he's just plain wrong.